Oman's Fatma al Nabhani seeded second at ITF meet in France

Oman's Fatma al Nabhani seeded second at ITF meet in France
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Published March 22nd, 2017 - 18:56 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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Fatma al Nabhani
Fatma al Nabhani

Oman's tennis ace Fatma al Nabhani has been seeded second in the Open du Havre - a US$15,000 ITF tournament - that began in the French city of Le Havre on Tuesday. 

Fatma will begin her campaign in the round of 32 against Russian qualifier Varvara Gracheva on Wednesday. Belgian Elyne Boeykens, currently ranked 340 in the world, has been given the pride of place at the indoor clay-court tournament that will conclude on March 26.

Fatma, who is ranked 417 in the world, hopes to finish high up in a bid to improve her ranking.

The 25 year old has gradually improved her ranking since the start of the year, when she was placed 446.

Having recovered from a stomach bug that hit her during the last US$15,000 ITF tournament in Gwalior, India, Fatma is looking ahead to an improved performance in France.

Speaking to Muscat Daily by phone from France, Fatma said, “I have recovered and though I haven't had the best of preparations for this event, I am confident of a good show.”

Fatma is partnering Romania's Dalana Negreanu in the doubles event at Le Havre; they are ranked fourth. The pair meets Algeria's Ines Ibbou and Luxembourg's Eleonora Molinaro in the quarterfinals.

In Gwalior, Fatma was forced to pull out in the middle of her semifinal match against India's Mahak Jain following stomach cramps.

She began the year in good form as she went close to title wins in singles and doubles events on several occasions. The Omani star lost in the US$15,000 ITF tournament in Cairo, Egypt to Belgian Helene Scholsen 2-6, 5-7 on January 29.

In the same event, she had teamed up with Egypt's Sandra Samir to reach the title round, only to lose to Japan's Ayaka Okuno and Slovakia's Chantal Skamlova.

A week before that, she and Sandra had lost to the same pair in the final of another ITF US$15,000 event in Cairo.

Fatma was handed wild cards at the prestigious Qatar Open and the Dubai Open, but she went out in opening rounds.

In Doha, Qatar, she was outplayed by world No 20 Barbora Strycova of Czech Republic 3-6, 0-6 in the round of 32, while in Dubai, she lost to Chinese Taipei's Chang Kai Chen, ranked world No 114, 0-6, 1-6 in the qualifying draw's first round.

Fatma was recently picked by the Oman Tennis Association to represent the sultanate at the fourth Islamic Solidarity Games (ISG) in Baku, Azerbaijan from May 12.

The Omani is the defending champion, having won the title at the third ISG held in Palembang, Indonesia in 2013.

© Apex Press and Publishing

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